Monday, April 3, 2017

Murphy's Law Continues Extraordinary Series by Declan Finn!

Book 1 - Love at First Bite Series
Honor at Stake
Check out Review

Now Book 2 - Love at First Bite
Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong... 
Murphy's Law



April 16th, 2: 15AM. Greenpoint, Brooklyn, NY 
Amanda Colt was dead, and Marco Catalano looked like he had been through a war. Both were technically true. The battle for Mount Olivet and for Greenpoint had been surprisingly quick affairs, but had left hundreds if not thousands dead on the streets of New York City. It helped with the cleanup that most of those who died had already been dead – namely, vampires. 

“I go to mass.” 
“And?” 
“Since I mentioned that our physical character is related to our spiritual character, I go frequently. I think I may qualify as a mystic, but I’m not sure, I haven’t asked my confessor about this. Technically, that makes me stronger, so I can go without real 
blood for a week or two.” 

“And?” 

“I get most of my blood from the Sacred Blood in the chalice at mass. I’m usually the last one up, so I finish the cup.”

~~~


Merle studied Marco a moment.
 Despite being beaten, bruised,
 and broken, he still had the
 distinct impression that he would,
 indeed, hunt down anyone who
 took an action against Amanda.
 He would protect her,
anywhere, anytime,
no matter his condition.
~~~



Amanda Colt was a vampire, and thus already dead – but she looked more dead than usual when she came flying back through the air, impacting on the Brooklyn street with a sick sound that was a cross between a splat and a crunch. 
Marco, despite having had his left leg and his right arm broken by Mikhail the Bear in single combat, tried to move towards her fallen form. After a brief effort, he growled deep in his throat.
“Damnit. Merle, check her pulse.” The Eurasian government agent still had his weapon up, but whatever it was had vanished. 
“Pulse?” he asked, confused. 
Marco felt his pulse spike. There wasn’t time to explain this! Amanda bounced off the ground, her face a mask of rage and fangs, shouting in rage at the rooftop. “The suki tossed me! That… I’ll get you for this!” 
Merle raised a brow and holstered his gun. “She’s too far to hear you.” 
“I can hear gun fire from the Bronx. Trust me, she hears.” 
She turned to Marco, and carefully rolled him over onto his back. She cradled his head in her lap. Marco closed his eyes, and just enjoyed the feel of her body heat through her jeans. Before I met her, If someone had told me that body temp was the perfect surface to rest on, I would have told them they were mad. 
“I think we can heal this,” Amanda said, in her cute Russian accent. “But I’ll need to set the bone, okay?” 
Marco gave it a moment’s thought. The microbes in her bite would help him heal the breaks in a matter of days, if not hours, but it was still going to hurt like a bastard. “Sure, why not?” 
The door to the brownstone opened, and Marco’s father, Doctor Robert Catalano, came out, with the Vatican Ninja and sniper, Ibrahim Javaherian, at his side. “I’ll do the setting,” Robert said, “if you don’t mind.” 
Merle sighed. The government agent who specialized in odd seemed impatient. “Whatever. Well, it looks like my lead is dead, in more ways than one. Marco, why did you want me to check Amanda for a pulse? Habit?” 
Amanda smiled brightly – Damn, Marco thought, I would kill for that smile – and she said, “Nyet. I have a pulse. I also have a fully-working metabolism. My body doesn’t need to pump blood, but I have it do so, mainly to keep everything working. I may want to have children some day.” 
Merle gave a smirk.
Marco tried to read it, but couldn’t. “You need food?” 
Amanda: “At least blood. I don’t know why, but we need it. I tried going without, it’s not a pretty sight.” 
Marco nodded, completely ignoring his father examining his broken leg. “I think it’s a version of porphyria, mixed with a touch of inverse progeria.” 
Merle arched a brow. “In English?” 
“Progeria is a disease that makes someone age at four times the normal rate of speed; ten-year-olds looking like they’re forty, and physically, they are.” With a quick pull from Doctor Catalano, Marco screamed. It was almost more of a surprise than anything else. He had been so focused on the conversation, he felt more an echo of pain than anything else. Marco gritted his teeth. “Porphyria is what King George III had, driving him insane— a cure for that is the ingestion of human blood, which is where part of the myth of vampirism comes from. We figure that the microbial symbiotes that are responsible for vampirism somehow feed off of fresh, living blood, like porphyria.” 
“However, there’s her ability to elongate her teeth,” Marco added. “It really irritates me, because she always has an unfair advantage at bobbing for apples.” 
The vampire brushed a strand of hair from his forehead. “I do not know what you’re talking about. I would never use them for such a thing.”
“Then how come you always need to floss out your canines for the next week afterwards?” he objected. His father had his arm and pulled. Marco screamed again. “I suck out the filling from some of the chocolates,” Amanda continued, as though Marco had just had his back cracked by a masseuse, not his bones set. “It is either that, or I eat diabetics for dessert, and you remember what happened to old Tiberius when he drank from too many.”
“Yeah, his teeth rotted out. He should’ve known better than to drink people with too high a blood sugar without brushing.” Doctor Catalano gave a quick pull at Marco’s arm, setting the break. Marco grimaced and gritted his teeth this time, despite the pain. “Just because he’s dead doesn’t mean he can forgo the basics.” 
Merle snickered at the surrealism of it all. “So, Amanda, since you are who you eat, whom do you generally eat?” 
Marco and Amanda looked at each other for a moment. “I sometimes give donations,” he explained. “The rest of the time… you can answer it...” 
Merle looked out over at the gang members, the Mafia, the cops, and the Vatican ninjas, who all seemed interested in making certain no one had been eaten during the fracas. “What about them? I can assume they didn’t know about your girlfriend before now, did they?” 
“I’ll talk to them,” Marco said, eyes cold. “If any of them decide to do something unwise, I will know, and they will answer to me.” 
Merle studied Marco a moment. Despite being beaten, bruised, and broken, he still had the distinct impression that he would, indeed, hunt down anyone who took an action against Amanda. He would protect her, anywhere, anytime, no matter his condition. “Fair enough.” He glanced at the ground where Mikhail used to be. “I guess this is all over then.” 
Marco let out a sharp, sudden laugh. “You’re kidding right?” 
Merle motioned to the street littered with empty clothes and dusted vampires. “You call this… what?” Marco tried to sit up, but Amanda pressed down on his shoulders to hold him in place. “Do not move.” Marco sighed, then looked at Merle. “I call this a retaliatory strike. This isn’t over. Obviously, Mikhail didn’t like us messing up his most ambitious nesting plans, slowing him down and cutting into his personnel. He went after the FBI, and when we made a move on him, he struck back.”
 “Yes,” Merle concluded, “but if he was being slowed down, that means that he was building up to something.” 
Marco smiled. “Give the man a cigar. Whatever they were doing at the United Nations, whatever you were looking into, Mikhail was in charge of manpower.”
“What?” Amanda cut in. 
“We just killed the head of human resources. We have no idea who that redhead was that killed Mikhail just when he was about to talk.” 
Merle’s mouth twitched. “Aw hell. You’re saying this is just starting.” 
“You’re not the one in pieces on the ground,” Marco muttered. “Now, if you don’t mind, I think Amanda and I can use some alone time.” 
Merle arched a brow. So did Doctor Catalano, and so did Ibrahim Javaherian. Marco frowned and looked at all of them. “Get your minds out of the gutter. If she bites me, I get a hit of her virus. The first time she bit me, I could throw manhole covers. We can see if this will fix me up.” 
Amanda carefully moved, then picked up Marco as though he weighed about twenty pounds. “Do not worry. I will be happy to bite you.”
~~~


Murphy's Law of Vampires

By Declan Finn



For whatever reason, vampires have remained a magical creature that has remained popular in literature. I had given up on the topic for many years, but I must say that I've totally enjoyed the Love at First Bite Series by Declan Finn.

There is none of the usual about Finn's books. They are unique, exciting, and mystical, with all types of strange and weird happenings that can't help but capture readers' attention.

For instance, the main character, Marco Catalano is a student studying to become a physician's assistant. To date, readers are stilllll not sure exactly what type of superior being he is, but he seems to be indestructible, or rather, self-healing... His intellect is at the genius level and his logic combined with his ethics create a formidable enemy against all things evil...

Note that I didn't say all who are vampires... 

You see, vampires are not all evil, including the main female character, Amanda Colt is a vampire who is good, spends much time in church, and depends upon the Holy Communion--the blood of Christ--as a major source of her food. 






Marco and Amanda have become close friends since they combined their efforts in ridding their city of bad vampires. 

Amanda looked at him… strangely, was the only word he had for it, as though she were searching for something in his eyes. 
“I can stay longer, if you want me to.” Would it be possible for her to be interested in him? Personally? Emotionally? Though she was about his age on a physical level, chronologically, she was old enough to be his grandmother. But his mother had never looked that good. 
He smiled. “I’d like that… and if I time it right, our sleep patterns will match up.” He slid his other arm around her back, hugging her to him by the waist. They started walking towards his dorm. “So, what are you going to do when you go back to New York?”
~~~
Yes, there is much action and thrills during these endeavors. In fact, there are a number of super-bad monsters and this dynamic duo takes them on, winning every battle...so far...but not without damage, especially to Marco...

So, when this happens, Amanda delivers a little bite to him, sharing her powerful saliva to not only heal but give him a boost in the physical power he already has...

One of the key things about the book is the underlying sense of humor...yes, perhaps surprising in what is normally thought of as a horror novel. But the author has such a sense of humor, apparently, that it comes out in the oddest places and, instead of feeling horror, readers wind up smiling or laughing at what is happening--which is tearing limbs from bodies, and all those things monsters do during their killing activities... It feels almost like a farce, but you can't deny the true horror of the actual events... Quite an achievement, in my opinion...

Clearly the book is character driven as we meet an FBI agent who deals with weird--think Fox Mulder. His speed seems to be a super gift, or he's just practiced magic and appears out of the blue, a lot... Then there is the Catholic Priest who supports good, even vampires, and has a special team of Vatican ninjas and sniper who joins the fight when needed... Yikes, Marco has even made friends with all the street gangs and they support him to rid the streets of the vampires, who are their enemies too!

Another fighter, who plays just as an important warrior in their battles is Holy Water... I'm pretty sure that the Priest must provide his blessings over water barrels to keep enough of it available!😇 Seriously, the ingenuity in the plotting of the demise of a monster has been tediously presented in such fine detail that readers are caught up in the mastery of the thought processes attributed to the character Marco. I was impressed!

Speaking of monsters, one, Mikhail, had just been annihilated when another appeared, to finish off Marco and Amanda, in particular. And another shows up!

But there is another monster, one who has declared himself... Marco believes, because he loves destroying evil vampires, that he is also a monster. And that's important, because he has strong feelings for Amanda who, even though a vampire, is a very good person who only kills when she must. While Amanda believes... 


Marco knew what was in his head. He was someone who enjoyed killing. He was a monster. A predator. Yes, even though Marco had a deep faith, and a deeper prayer life, both served to keep the creature within him in check. In the end, one of two things drove Mikhail from his mind. One was the prayer and his faith. But Marco knew, deep in his heart, that his dark side had driven Mikhail out of his head and saved his life. It was a part of him he was comfortable with, that he enjoyed, and that he didn’t want to give up. It was something that he couldn’t tell anyone about. It was why he couldn’t be with Amanda. She killed human beings for food. He did it for fun.
~~~

Well you get the picture. These two are in love, but continuously fight it off because of their love for the other... Actually, it's quite fun to watch and what could be better than a little strange, weird romance in a vampire novel?

I loved all the characters in the book, even the bad monsters... The book is fast-paced, full of action, a true page turner, with a laugh or two to lighten the blood-curdling events that just...don't...stop! A break in reality that won't give you nightmares...Cool! With one surprise character that leads toward the climax! Into vampires? You really need to check out this series!


GABixlerReviews



Declan Finn is the NYC based author of books ranging from thrillers to urban fantasy to SciFi, including the 2016 Dragon Award Nominated Novel for Best horror, Honor at Stake. He is known for his strong fight scenes and his romance novels are sexy without being dirty, providing enough sexual tension to curl toes. He hosts the Catholic Geek Radio show, and can be found wherever someone is starting trouble. He also writes thrillers, video game reviews, and works for several blogs.
His ramblings can be found over at The Catholic Geeks, while his rantings on writing can be found at apiusman.blogspot.com. For him to really rant and rave, check out his interview show at The Catholic Geek, over at Blog Talk Radio.